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07/20/2009 07:07 AM ID: 79727 Permalink   

Study: 12,500 Deaths Attributable to Higher Speed Limit


According to a study conducted by University of Illinois researchers and due to be published in the American Journal of Public Health, the higher speed limit resulting from the end of the National Maximum Speed Law has caused 12,500 deaths since 1995.

When the law was introduced to save fuel due to the 1974 oil embargo, the road toll dropped 17 percent in 12 months. In 1987, power to raise the speed limit above 55 mph was granted to the states and the law was repealed in 1995.

"This is a failed policy because it was, in essence, an experiment over 10 years. People assumed that increasing the speed limit would not have an impact. We've shown that something has happened and it's quite dramatic," said Friedman.

    WebReporter: ixuzus Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
  @ Friedman  
Screw you sir.
  by: Common_Tater   07/20/2009 07:18 AM     
  Can someone tell me...  
Was the maximum allowed speed limit in the U.S. only 55mph? You poor people.
  by: ofwolfandman   07/20/2009 10:02 AM     
so all german should be dead by now or what?

people die... accept it!
  by: gobulus   07/20/2009 10:50 AM     
Better roads and possibly better trained drivers.
  by: ixuzus     07/20/2009 11:38 AM     
  Higher Speeds  
Just helps evolution thin the herd faster. O did they check their data against cell phone use. Yes you to can drive @ 75 MPH drink coffee and text at the same time.
  by: tarheel68     07/20/2009 11:55 AM     
  I wonder if these researchers factored in  
inattention, DUI, defective vehicles, bad weather conditions and suicide by car.

Mentioning speed as the only factor makes me suspicious of this data. Self-serving interests come to mind. Study payed for by the insurance industry, perhaps?
  by: White Albino   07/20/2009 12:30 PM     
  @White Albino  
This gives a bit better description of their methodology. We won't know all the details until it is formally published but I would say they would account for those things.
  by: ixuzus     07/20/2009 01:27 PM     
  @ Friedman  
Ass, he is lobbying for driving taxation through speed cameras.

"and consider reduced speed limits and improved enforcement with speed camera networks to save lives."

I looked at a study made for speed cameras in toronto. They noticed an a very high increased amount of fender benders as people slammed their breaks at intersection. A small reduction in the amount of cross turning accidents (fatal). Overall the report concluded that the cameras are good because they brought in a lot of cash into the public (taxation).

The report could not argue on the basis of saved lives.
  by: kmazzawi     07/20/2009 04:22 PM     
Here is a study to counter that lying sack of friedman:

Speed Limits May Not Be Saving Lives:
  by: kmazzawi     07/20/2009 04:26 PM     
  Let's wait  
until the full study is released and have a look at his facts and methodology before we crucify him.
  by: ixuzus     07/20/2009 05:13 PM     
Crucify him!
Then absolve his cooling corpse of any blame.
That is America's current mode of justice.
  by: White Albino   07/20/2009 05:28 PM     
The United States drivers, the majority of them, SUCK AT DRIVING. I had three instances where I was cut off this morning just driving 12 minutes from my house to work! Regardless what the speed is, they need to look at the idiots who are driving instead. I never, ever, feel safe on the road. It is sad, it used to not be so bad (that I can remember at least). But within the last couple years it just seems like no one has to worry about anyone else on the road.

I wish Obama would take off the turn signal, no one uses it anyways and it would save on carbon emissions...
  by: nimira     07/20/2009 06:35 PM     
  In a related story...  
  by: VermiciousG     07/20/2009 07:21 PM     
  my view on this...  
I believe highway deaths are related to a growing amount of cars on the road between 1987 and today as well as a growing amount of distracations available to drivers. Has it been considered that there may have simply been 17 percent less people driving from 1973 (start of crisis) until it was resolved and gas prices fell until the crisis of 79?

Collisions ALWAYS happen due to driver error, mechanical failure or a combination of both. Driver error that causes accidents is also typically a SERIES of mistakes by one or several drivers. A single mistake is typically correctable. Speed is often INCORRECTLY attributed as the main cause for accidents/fatalities just because easier to quantify and verify. Unless your car is capable of producing jet fighter g-force causing blackouts, speed does not cause accidents.

Say a driver is going 65mph down the highway. He then decides to tune his stereo while talking on his cellphone. He then fails to see a huge traffic jam ahead and rear-ends someone at 65mph causing a major accident. It's clearly a series of mistakes that caused the accident; the driver was on his phone talking while driving, he was tuning his stereo while driving and he failed to assess the condition of the traffic ahead. However it's hard to prove someone was on their phone or messing with their stereo, but easy to say they were going too fast and failed to maintain distance, thus blaming speed.
  by: d-man   07/20/2009 08:50 PM     
  we're animals like any other really  
we have adapted many times before. We shall adapt to this early or some will soon perish..:0
  by: pineal420   07/20/2009 09:24 PM     
Obviously, the lower the speed, the greater the margin of safety when inevitable errors occur.

I personally don't care for the way transportation is handled at all, but it would be nice to be able to drive 55 to save fuel without risking your life in the process.
  by: H. W. Hutchins   07/21/2009 01:05 AM     
  Speed does not kill..  
It's just like falling..

Falling does not kill people either.. It's the sudden stop at the end.
  by: CaveHermit   07/21/2009 01:42 AM     
But the sudden stop can't kill you if you weren't previously moving fast.
  by: VermiciousG     07/21/2009 04:59 AM     
Speed limit here on the highway is 70, most people generally go 75~80 without the cops pulling them over.

I'm guilty of texting while driving at those speeds, hell, I've even used my laptop on the highway before. Actually, I've used my laptop a lot as the car's computer/ECU is connected to it for tuning purposes anyway. Mobile broadband and all.

Cough... :|
  by: kristmen   07/21/2009 06:58 PM     
It wouldn't be a problem if people actually drove properly and didn't have their head up their ass...also some people think if the speed limit is 70 they can go 90, and rule the road and if someone does anything under that ride their bumper...some of these people don't realize how easily they can cause an accident. They don't give themselves proper time to react and drive like they're god...
  by: DoubleTake   07/22/2009 09:11 PM     
I agree! People should not ride under someone's bumper. People should not do 90 through traffic! That's a stupid thing to do and I hate when people do it to me. I know my car can brake a lot harder than theirs (big brakes) in an emergency stop and I almost had a Toyota Camry smash into me the other day when there was an accident ahead, because he was tailgating and locked up. Luckily he was able to go evasive into the large shoulder we have on 59 (Houston) and miss me by inches.

At the same time I will say I HATE having to pass people on the RIGHT. I really think police should pull people over for riding in the LEFT lane unless the road has high traffic conditions. The left lane should be for passing ONLY. Some people I know tell me they drive in the left lane because their "exit is far away", because they are "scared of houston traffic and people cutting them off". Unfortunately for them that's not how highways work. I really believe failing to keep right causes accidents.

I was involved in an accident a year ago. I was passing someone (legally, on the left) via the 2nd lane from the left. There was a minivan going 50 in the left-most lane with an SUV behind it tailgating. The SUV gets fed up and decides to pass the minivan on the RIGHT and doesn't see my low sports car under him and turns right into the front quarter of my car. You can imagine the rest. It was the SUV's fault, but I can't help thinking if the minivan had not been in the left lane doing 50 in a 60 it would have been a different outcome.

I do enjoy driving fast on highways, but I do so in the middle of the night on the super straight and empty tollway if I happen to be on it. You can see for miles so the chances of hitting someone else are non-existant and you can have fun going 130-150mph :-) for short blasts.
  by: d-man   07/22/2009 09:46 PM     
  needs to get a ticket  
They need to get a ticket and a big fine. I am from the States but I live here in the Netherlands now. They will give you a ticket for tail-gating ($256-$568) and for driving unnecessarily in the left lane ($128). If you pass on the right that is also a fine if you get caught. ($213). I think everyone should obey the speed laws and not talk on the cellphones. When you get behind the wheel your not only responsible to look out for yourself but you have to look out for those inconsiderate drivers that dont look out.
  by: KRebecca75   07/23/2009 01:01 AM     
Agree with your points as well. I've been in many near accidents, two thanks to drunk drivers...The most infamous one for me...this one guy was driving with a construction barricade caught under his SUV on the interstate...I guess he was so trashed he didnt notice. Well he was easily doing 20 under the speed limit in the far left hand lane (6 lane interstate), so i went to the far right to try to pass him quickly. Well I guess some voice in his psycho head told him to try to run me off the road...he came flying at me across 3 lanes and I barely reacted in time and moved to the right with him...bounced off the grass and back into the road, my back end spun around and I was facing oncoming traffic...One car couldnt stop and I barely dodged that. I stopped, fortunately everyone else slowed down in time and I slammed into reverse and back onto the grass to check my tires and shit to see if he might have nicked me...I was damn lucky for that one...I hope that drunk asshole got what he deserved down the road.
  by: DoubleTake   07/23/2009 02:26 AM     
Lets see. First of all, there are twice as many people on this earth driving than there were in the 1960's - 1995 era. They also didn't have cool complicated radios, navigation systems and cell phones in their cars eighter.

We are also over populating the earth with roads, so wild life have to cross roads constantly, causing drivers to take drastic measures to avoid them, but in return kill themselves or others in the process. Blah, blah, blah......

IMHO, this higher speed limit study is majorly flawed. My 2 cents.
  by: slayer06   07/23/2009 04:49 AM     
  road safety  
I know this article is about America but, I recently obtained a document produced by the roads authority that details the methodology used to set speed limits.
This document is used to calculate the design speed of any given road, upon reading it I found that the majority of motorways within NSW Australia have a design speed of 130km/h, now in NSW the maximum speed limit is 110km/h, so even though the speed recommendation based on the 85th percentile limit is calculated it isn’t even used.
Now for those that don’t know design speed is a speed that 85% of the population would be comfortable with driving during normal weather and traffic conditions.
The significance of the government’s ignorance towards the design speed is that they are designing these roads knowing that people are going to want to go faster then the speed limit advises.
Considering the science behind road construction tells them this is not the most effective way of reducing casualties and improving efficiency the only motivation I can find is revenue, by ensuring that people want to travel faster then the speed limit they insure a constant flow of revenue through fixed speed cameras and patrols handing out fines.
Personally I believe that anti-lock breaks and traction control should be mandatory in all new vehicles, when a vehicle is next checked for rego they should be evaluated and identified as having traction control or anti-lock breaks, a colour coded sticker should be put on the car as a marked identification. Cars that have traction control can go an increased speed on certain roads and cars that have abs can go certain speeds on other roads.
I believe not enough value is put into the performance and safety of a car, by treating all cars the same they are creating a situation where a shit box and a brand new car with all the latest and greatest safety features are considered the same.
In Australia P-Plater(provisional drivers) deaths make up a great deal of the road death toll, now I don’t doubt that younger people do occasionally drive like tools but I also believe they are more likely to own older vehicles that don’t have all the safety options that modern cars do thus making them more likely to be involved in accidents.
  by: shiftyfarker   07/23/2009 05:58 AM     
  No surprise as..  
..Americans are some of the worst drivers around, very arrogant and aggresive. They buy a fancy car (or any vehicle for that matter) and think they are F1 drivers. Just because you own a Corvette or a hopped up Nissan with a mosquito muffler doesn't mean you can drive well.
America needs better driver education/training.
  by: cbuilding   07/27/2009 12:49 AM     
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